A footballer teen credits his Apple Watch, a smart watch with fitness tracking abilities, for his second shot at life.
Paul Houle, 17, lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and plays football for Tabor Academy, where is currently a senior. During one of his practices, he developed back and chest pains. At first he tried to ignore it and went to take a nap. But when he read his heart rate again, he was alarmed. The watch registered 145 beats per minute, which is beyond the average 66 to 72 beats per minute resting heart rate for athletes. He immediately knew that something didn't feel right.
He reached out to his trainer who then immediately sent him to the emergency where he was diagnosed with a condition known as rhabdomyolysis, which is described as the muscle tissue breakdown that then releases muscle contents such as proteins into the bloodstream. Vital organs such as the kidneys cannot take them well and undergo a failure. In Houle's case, he believed the injury may have been triggered by dehydration, leading to the shutting down of his kidneys, liver, and heart. His condition therefore was fatal if he didn't react promptly. But Houle believed that he wouldn't do anything either if it hadn't been for the information provided by the smart watch.
When interviewed, his dad, also named Paul Houle, expressed his relief and joy in knowing his son is okay. But what happened also inspired him to get Apple watches for the rest of the family, including himself. He also said thanks to the school and to Apple.
Houle, who is just grateful to be alive, is still under treatment and cannot play football yet. In fact, he may have to miss the rest of the football season. But he had something else to look forward to: he got a surprise call from Apple CEO Tim Cook who offered him an internship program for the next summer.